Author-mythologist Devdutt Pattanaik will release a new book in September in which he will examine the ideas of death and rebirth as laid out in the Garuda Purana and other Hindu texts.
Written in and for a post-pandemic world that has seen much death and grief, ”Garuda Purana and Other Hindu Ideas on Death and Rebirth” will be published by Westland Books in the second week of September, just before the Pitrupaksha, Shraddh or Tarpan.
This 16-day period, observed by practicing Hindus, is marked by rituals performed in memory of the “pitr” or ancestors.
The book introduces readers to early depictions of death and interpretations of them according to the Hindu belief system.
Pattanaik explains the different and often conflicting beliefs and symbolism, rituals and reasons behind various aspects of Hindu worship.
It also explains the importance of the god and goddess of death, the mythical land of the ancestors, the many funeral rituals and their explanations, the historical idea of thwarting death, the concepts of ‘paap’ and ‘punya’ by relation to death, and finally, liberation or moksha.
Commenting on his book, Pattanaik said, “Many people are disturbed by what they hear in the Garuda Purana during funeral ceremonies. I wanted to help readers overcome their fear with knowledge and clarity, while drawing attention to the 3,000-year-old practice of feeding the dead, which is still observed by Hindus.” He added that he believes that it is a book to “regenerate a society and also a publishing house shaken by the Covid and the events of the past two years”.
According to Vidhi Bhargava, Editor of Westland Books, “The past two years have been dark and depressing for the whole world, and so many people are still struggling to come to terms with the loss of their loved ones.
“Devdutt Pattanaik’s interpretation of the Garuda Purana, the meaning of various Hindu rituals associated with death, and his exploration of the philosophy of rebirth will hopefully help many in understanding the cycle of life, death and liberation,” Bhargava added.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)